CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD (Stephen Simon). 109 minutes. Opens Friday (November 10) at Canada Square. For times, see page 154. Rating: N Rating: N
Conversations With God will eventually end up on the CTS channel, where you'll look at it for two seconds because its star, Henry Czerny , is Canadian and once had a promising Hollywood career playing intense villains (Clear And Present Danger, Mission: Impossible).
Here Czerny plays Neale Donald Walsch, the real-life author whose series of similarly titled books helped catapult him from life as a homeless guy with a broken neck to a jet-setting author with an open line to you-know-who.
It's hard to keep a straight face -- and the half-dozen critics at a pre-screening sure didn't -- watching this predictable, earnest tale of Walsch's Touched By An Angel journey. The script and production are ham-fisted and obvious, with poignant moments always underscored by a mournful cello, and the acting -- particularly by the women -- worthy of bad community theatre.
Czerny, sporting a beard that looks as fake as G.I. Joe's, is above this material. Yet he sinks his acting chops into his scenes, whether they involve downing a hamburger from a garbage dump or pacing his living room receiving dictation from God.
Walsch's messages of perseverance, love and faith are admirable, and the film means well. But it's sheer hell to sit through.